The FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 tips off tonight. Defending champions Iran (2014) are hosting the 12-team event, which will take place from September 9th to the 18th. This competition is part of the process in determining the qualifiers for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, formerly known as the “FIBA Asia Championship.”
The 12 teams are currently divided into four groups and will play out a three-game preliminary round. All of the teams will progress to a second round, but teams will be divided into two groups (Group E, Group F). At the end of the second round, the top four teams from each group will advance to the tournament quarter-finals which will take place on September 16th.
Iran appear to be the favorites to retain their crown this year, but nations such as China, the Philippines, and Korea can easily considered as serious contenders as well.
The preliminary groups are as follows:
China, Jordan, Kazakhstan
Philippines, India, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Iran, Qatar, Iraq
Japan, Korea, Thailand
The four games on tap tonight are:
Japan vs. Korea 14:00 (GMT+3:30)
Iran vs. Qatar 16:15 (GMT+3:30)
China vs. Jordan 18:30 (GMT+3:30)
Philippines vs. India 20:45 (GMT+3:30)